Blistering Heat Continues in Northern India
By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
June 24, 2014, 8:43:19 AM EDT
Extreme heat has built across northern India, including the New Delhi region, over the past week. This heat is expected to continue for at least the rest of the week as the arrival of the monsoon remains several weeks away.
Normal high temperatures are 104 degrees F (40 C) in New Delhi, and the past eight days have seen high temperatures climb to 110 degrees F (43 C) or higher, including a peak of 115 (46.1 C) on Sunday. The all-time record high for New Delhi for June is 116 degrees F (46.7 C), according to the India Weather Service.
The recent heat wave has taken a toll on the homeless of the region. Social Worker, Sunil Kumar Aledia, of the Centre For Holistic Development told APF that there has been a rise in the number of deaths among Delhi's homeless during this most recent stretch of extreme heat.
The temperatures over the past week marked one of the most intense heat waves in recent years.
Elsewhere in the region, temperatures climbed to 118 degrees F (47.8 C) in Palam, India, which is the hottest it has been in 62 years, also breaking a record for Sunday.
The heat is being produced by hot, dry winds from the west. These conditions look to continue for the week ahead as the arrival of the monsoon remains one to two weeks behind schedule across much of southern and central India.
This heat has not only been dangerous for anyone going outdoors but has also led to record energy use across Delhi.
According to the Times of India, the power demand on Thursday was as high as 108.6 million units, the highest ever recorded. The peak demand was 5,250 megawatts, shy of the record of 5,653 megawatts from 2013.
The high energy demand has also produced power cuts across northern India, resulting in riots according to the Associated Press. The violence peaked on Friday when thousands of people stormed a electricity substation in Lucknow, taking several workers hostage for 18 hours.
Another round of riots erupted across the north on Tuesday night as the ongoing heat wave produced more blackouts across the region.
More extreme heat this week could approach record levels across northern India, including the New Delhi region. The temperatures on Wednesday look to remain very close to record highs, and the low temperatures at night have only been dropping to near 90 degrees F (32 C).
With the monsoon still several weeks away, the above-normal heat is expected to prevail across the entire region with only rare thunderstorms to break up the heat for a day or two at a time. The monsoon will bring some relief from the heat and drought across the region; however, a weak monsoon could result in a long-term drought affecting millions of people.
AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Alan Reppert contributed to this story
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